Wisereads Vol. 27 โ€” Art for Money with Michael Ardelean, Derek Thompson on loneliness, and more

Last week, we shared a chapter of Rob Henderson’s memoir, Troubled. This week, we’re sharing a full copy of Art for Money by Michael Ardelean, a Holloway guide to creative freelancing.

Keep reading to add to your Reader account below ๐Ÿ‘‡

Most highlighted Articles of the week


The Shift from Models to Compound AI Systems

Matei Zaharia, Omar Khattab, Lingjiao Chen, et al. ยท The Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Blog

At UC Berkeley, BAIR researchers come together to investigate the shift from monolithic LLMs to compound systems. “This shift to compound systems opens many interesting design questions, but it is also exciting, because it means leading AI results can be achieved through clever engineering, not just scaling up training.”


Reversible and Irreversible Decisions

Farnam Street ยท Farnam Street

Jeff Bezos once likened decisions to doors, suggesting that decision-making speed should be modulated depending on reversibility. “The biggest risk to irreversible decisions is deciding before you need to. The biggest risk to reversible ones is waiting until the last minute.”


Why Americans Suddenly Stopped Hanging Out

Derek Thompson ยท The Atlantic

Writer and Plain English podcast host, Derek Thompson, dives into the data to find an explanation for American introversion. “We come into this world craving the presence of others. But a few modern trends—a sprawling built environment, the decline of church, social mobility that moves people away from friends and family—spread us out as adults in a way that invites disconnection.”

Most highlighted YouTube Video of the week


How to Get Started with Notion (without losing your mind)

Jeff Su

Product marketer Jeff Su simplifies productivity with his uncomplicated approach to Notion in his latest video. “Most Notion setups are powered by databases. You take some time to build out a few core databases once, then you create dashboards and views tailored to your own individual needs. The possibilities are literally endless.”

Most highlighted Twitter Thread of the week


Iโ€™m obsessed with learning how to learn

Eddie Cheng

Advertiser Eddie Cheng distills wisdom from Elon Musk, Sam Altman, and Naval Ravikant on accelerating learning. “When learning something new, never worry about not getting it right away. Instead, embrace your mistakes and just get the reps in. Doing so increases your neuroplasticity, which makes learning happen 10x faster.”

Most highlighted PDF of the week

Gemini 1.5: Unlocking multimodal understanding across millions of tokens of context

Google Gemini Team

The recently announced Gemini 1.5 Pro, the first LLM with a 1 million token context window, can process the equivalent of a day's audio or ten Les Misérables copies. “With the entire text of Les Misérables in the prompt (1382 pages, 732k tokens), Gemini 1.5 Pro is able to identify and locate a famous scene from a hand-drawn sketch.”

Hand-picked book of the week


Art for Money

Michael Ardelean

Michael Ardelean, first a BMX pro, then a design studio manager, and ultimately the founder of his own recruiting firm, unveils his blueprint for success as a creative freelancer in Art for Money. This small and mighty guide compiles 13 years of insights on making a living as an artist: pricing, drafting proposals, getting paid and more.

“If a project is large or has a long lead time, we tend to relax at the beginning and thrash at the end. This is exactly the opposite of a good approach. To avoid tricking ourselves into thinking we have plenty of time to finish a project, focus on Phase 1. That’s much shorter. And it has a real deadline. This encourages us to ‘Thrash Now, Ship Early,’ as Seth Godin preaches. Never thrash at the end. The end is stressful enough as it is.”

We're excited to offer Art for Money via our friends at Holloway, a boutique publisher of comprehensive guides for navigating the complexities of modern work. We invite you to consider supporting them by purchasing Art for Money or another title, all at a special 30% off price for Wisereads readers. ๐Ÿ™ All guides are available in the Holloway Reader and most also as an EPUB you can add to Reader.

Handpicked RSS feed of the week


The Profile

Hidden Genius author Polina Pompliano studies the wins and losses of the world’s most successful figures in her Substack, The Profile. From The Profile Dossier: Amaryllis Fox, the ex-CIA agent: “Although Fox was trained how to use a Glock, how to get out of flexi-cuffs while locked in the trunk of a car, and how to withstand torture, the bulk of her work was focused on the most simple skill of all: Listening with intent.”